The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature


The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literatureoffers a comprehensive, critically engaging overview of this increasingly significant body of work.

The volume is divided into six sections that consider:

  • the foremost figures of the Anglophone Caribbean literary tradition and a history of literary critical debate
  • textual turning points, identifying key moments in both literary and critical history and bringing lesser known works into context
  • fresh perspectives on enduring and contentious critical issues including the canon, nation, race, gender, popular culture and migration
  • new directions for literary criticism and theory, such as eco-criticism, psychoanalysis and queer studies
  • the material dissemination of Anglophone Caribbean literature and generic interfaces with film and visual art

This volume is an essential text that brings together sixty-nine entries from scholars across three generations of Caribbean literary studies, ranging from foundational critical voices to emergent scholars in the field.

The volume's reach of subject and clarity of writing provide an excellent resource and springboard to further research for those working in literature and cultural studies, postcolonial and diaspora studies as well as Caribbean studies, history and geography.


The world of Caribbean literary scholarship is immensely vibrant at the present time. The task of compiling a Companion to this field during a moment of heighted creative production and critical endeavor is exhilarating but it is also a risk. It is inevitable that we will have made exclusions from the past and the present and that, from the perspective of the future, some of our predictions of critical trends will be mistaken, overly exaggerated or too timid. In choosing only to represent anglophone writing in a region where the flows and seepages between anglophone, francophone and hispanic writings and cultures are quickening, it is inevitable that we will impose limits and horizons where they may not really exist. In order to bring the works of Dias and Alvarez into conversation with those of Antoni or Mootoo, we have drawn a line that separates these works from their Hispanic neighbours. However, every anthology or companion must set its strictures and this one, sadly, is no exception. We have aimed to be as inclusive of writers, genres, critical approaches, material influences, established traditions and new directions as possible within a single publication.

The idea for this Companion came about because we perceived a shift in critical sensibilities since the beginning of the twenty-first century. At its most basic level, this shift was occasioned by the happy fact of significantly more Caribbean literary works being published or made available. The rapid changes in print technologies and the move towards digital archives have enabled an extension of the Caribbean literary archive in both chronological directions at once. The cultural milieu of the twentyfirst century means that literature can, and arguably must, engage in a positive dialogue with other forms of new media. Despite lamentations about the waning appeal of the printed book, Annie Paul’s contribution here argues persuasively for an energizing synergy between the book and the screen. It is certainly the case that beyond fashioning blogs and allowing for print on demand, the digital era can oxygenate transatlantic reading communities and foster a more lively literary culture. Online magazines, like the Caribbean Review of Books and its web blog Antilles, along with social networking sites like Facebook and international booksellers like Amazon, create the conditions for a far more immediate and active global reading culture. Even in the near past, it might well take more than a year for news of the publication of Jamaican Erna Brodber’s new work published by New Beacon Books in London to reach academics in Trinidad or students in New York.

Although determinedly futuristic, these digital innovations have also made it easier to move backwards in time and extend understandings of Caribbean literary history. The wonderful Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC has provided a platform for instant access to a remarkable range of literary works and cultural . . .

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